Police surveillance cameras that have been watching over the busy stretch of Yonge Street near the Eaton Centre are coming down.

The CCTV cameras were installed Dec. 18 and remained there over the busy holiday season to deter criminal behaviour in the shopping and tourist area.

Police said the electronic devices, which are being removed on Monday, were a useful crime-fighting tool.

"It acts as a great deterrent and it also gives us an opportunity in the event that something does happen that there's a great evidentiary value to what's captured on film," said Staff Sgt. Greg McLane.

The cameras captured a shooting on Yonge last weekend that saw bullets fly through the window of Sam The Record Man.

A 15-year-old boy was struck in the leg in front of the landmark music store, but was not co-operative with police.

The cameras were installed for temporary use following concerns from local business owners who did not want to see a repeat of the 2005 Boxing Day gang shootout, which left several people wounded.

Innocent bystander Jane Creba, 15, died in the incident, capping off a year of gun-plagued violence.

As the cameras come down, the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Association is asking Mayor David Miller to make them a permanent fixture.

Some residents also support having the cameras in place.

"When you're on the street, I don't think you should be thinking about your privacy that much," said Ruby Kaur.

Some shoppers, however, said they didn't like the devices because they were an invasion of privacy.

"It's a safe city and it's a little too Big Brotherish, in my opinion," said Graham Borgfgord.

Civil rights groups officials also said they support the cameras as long as police aren't abusing their powers.

"I think certainly the public would be more than willing to have themselves filmed if they were assured the police didn't use them in an inappropriate fashion," said Naeem Siddiqi of the Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties Association.

With a report from CTV's Roger Petersen